I’m back and have finally wound down enough to blog about my trip. Many people have asked how it was and I reply with this question, “Have you ever been to summer camp?” Arrowmont is a little like camp in that I bunked with several people, ate in a main dining hall, had arts and crafts time and enjoyed meeting new people. Of course, my camp never had nightly happy hours or art receptions, but I’m thinking I might have gone to the wrong camp!

I was able to attend the conference for free (yay!) thanks to the generosity of The Enamelist Society and Sarah Perkins. Sarah was allowed to bring several students with her who would serve as volunteers for the workshop instructors. She allowed me to come and I was happy to do so. Once we got all the instructors settled in, we (the students) were allowed to attend the workshops. I found one I really liked, taught by Chris Hentz, focusing on soldering skills. Soldering is the one of the first things I learned in my beginning metals class and it’s something I do almost every day. Still, I learned some new tricks and truly enjoyed Chris, who was quite hilarious.

Sarah was the reason I created the show catalog in the first place. She encouraged me to take the job, apply for the show and was instrumental in the proofreading of the catalog. She’s a great friend! As one of my cheerleaders, she made sure everyone at the conference knew I’d made the catalog and even informed them that I had learned the program in order to create it. What a woman! I received many compliments and truly enjoyed myself.

The only thing about this trip to Arrowmont that was a little bittersweet was that I didn’t do any real work. Normally, I attend a week-long workshop and immerse myself in metals work while I’m there. This time, I was more of an observer and spent more time interacting with people socially. While it was different, I really enjoyed myself and am glad I went.

For now, I’ll immerse myself in studio work and get ready for the Des Moines show in November.

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